KamiYaba: Destiny on a Dicey Deadline Review – Not the Best Dice Roll

    Title: KamiYaba: Destiny on a Dicey Deadline
    Developer: HULOTTE
    Release Date: Janua 27, 2022
    Reviewed On: PC
    Publisher: Shiravune
    Genre: Visual Novel

KamiYaba: Destiny on a Dicey Deadline is a romantic comedy visual novel with a unique premise about destiny and fighting for one’s ideal future. While it offers an entertaining plot with funny dynamics between the cast, it doesn’t quite live up to this concept.

Hajime Kanbayashi is a young boy who has dreamed of getting a girlfriend for a long time. He tried all sorts of charms and mystical forms of becoming more attractive, but no dice. He was still single at the end of the day. Nonetheless, he persisted in his mystic endeavor for love enlightenment.

One day a young girl calling herself a love goddess showed up in his home. She comes bearing troubling news: if the protagonist doesn’t get a girlfriend within the next year, he will never have one. Unfortunately, his attempts at becoming a popular guy had backfired.

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However, Urara tells him of three potential candidates for him, and those three girls happen to attend the same school. Now he has to study hard to move into the next stage of his love life. At this other school, he’ll get to know these girls more intimately and learn about their circumstances.

Not so long after entering, he finds one of his marks: Nanami. The girl is the daughter of the Japanese Prime Minister, acting very reserved and polite. While everyone seems to respect her, it feels like she’s inside a cage or something. During lunch and other break times, she goes to the rooftop, which is treated as a Sanctuary by the other students.

Suzuna is another of the girls the protagonist can date. She’s a famous idol, and Hajime was already a fan of hers. Knowing her personally, he sees how much of an angel she is. Suzuna is kind and diligent, always trying to do her best for other people and training day and night to become better at work.

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The third option in KamiYaba is the mysterious Yukari. She’s a big tease and seems to be able to read people’s minds with how much detail she can grasp from others. Yukari is best friends with the love goddess Urara, who tries to pass as the protagonist’s younger sister.

Other important characters include Urara herself, Hajime’s cousin Mao who has been in love with him since childhood, and Nanami’s bodyguard Hanayo. They offer alternative routes to explore, and clearing any of the six will lead to after stories. The only other character with a sprite is Hajime’s roommate and old friend Taizen, who is really knowledgeable about romance but has no practice.

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While all the characters are very charismatic and their relationships are fun, there’s a feeling of missed potential in KamiYaba. As Urara blesses Hajime, he gets the power to see the Destiny Count which evaluates how close the characters are. The story mentions this fact sometimes but only as a gimmick that is inconsistent and ultimately of little consequence to the development of the routes.

It’s also important to keep in mind the narrative doesn’t explore a wide variety of branching possibilities. As is the case for a good amount of moege, there are only options to pick girls and no Bad Endings. The adult patch includes specific sex-related branches that affect the steamier CGs.

The plot is mishandled and drops interesting points without diving deep into them. When it comes to the English text, it also suffers from very frequent typos and occasional phrasing that doesn’t make much sense. While it’s usually easy to see what was supposed to be the correct word, it happens too often, so reading it can feel stilted. Without the 18+ patch, I was also unable to proceed at one of the routes, which froze on a specific screen.

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KamiYaba: Destiny on a Dicey Deadline offers cozy times with some cute characters, but it doesn’t manage to handle any unique plot point it brings up. The generic feeling and too frequent text issues are a big blunder, but players looking for just some fun with cute girls can probably overlook those issues.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Ivanir Ignacchitti

Random Japanese games are my jam. Handhelds, RPGs, VNs and PC banzai.